Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Lunar Eclipse

The Roger Revelle never sleeps, but we are supposed to do so at some point during the day or the night. I have the 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. shifts, so I usually go to sleep early in the evening to be in shape for the early wake-up (yes, I consider 3:20 a.m. rather early).


Lunar eclipse from the South Pacific. Photo by Martin Jutzeler

Today, we were alerted by the captain that a large part of the Pacific would experience a total lunar eclipse at 1:00 a.m. The last time I was on a research vessel, I  experienced a moon eclipse and greatly enjoyed the spectacle, so to enjoy it again, I had to reduce my my planned six hours of sleep to two.

The eclipse was absolutely beautiful, with a perfect sky, nice temperature, and gentle rocking ship. But photography was difficult. How does one capture a dark, distant object over a black background, without using a tripod? I had a good go with the manual settings on my camera.

It is now 2:30 a.m., and I am writing this blog post, waiting for my official wake-up time in one hour. I may have to make my coffee a little bit stronger than usual in the morning and go back to bed after breakfast time. But it was worth it.